This one is easy after you have done it once, but I remember being worried about it before I actually inspected how the wiper blades were attached. I figure I can’t be the only one with this wiper anxiety and I imagine people that are only familiar with what I would call a “peg” style wiper blade attachment will be interested in this explanation.
These instructions are for removal and replacement of the entire wiper blade, that is to say the rubber and the metal or plastic that holds the rubber to the wiper arm. Personally, I recommend replacing the entire wiper blade and not just the rubber strip. You have a wonderful car and new blades will look great on it. The replacement blades don’t cost that much more than the refills. And because of all the brands and styles of wipers, it is often a nightmare to find the correct refills anyway.
Photo of the wiper arm and blade ready to install
The wiper arms on the SAAB 9-5 have what I would describe as a crook bend or a flat hook. The wiper blade is wedged into the bend of that hook. Depending on the blade manufacturer, there will be a clip or tab that might need to be pressed before the entire blade is slid out. The blades that came with my SAAB needed a small screwdriver to push the tabs in, but the replacement blades have a tab big enough for me to push down with my finger. I could picture some blades not even having a tab.
Lift the wiper arms away from the windshield around 90 degrees and they will stay in place by themselves. With the tab pressed, the blades should slide down the length of the arm and out of the hook with just a little pressure. You do this once and you suddenly see how easy it is.
The replacement blades might not have the correct attachment already in place, but they will have a small set of weird plastic pieces included with the package. One of those pieces will fit the hook at the end of the wiper arm. Attach that piece to your new blade by following the instructions included with the blade. Then slide the new blade up the wiper arm and securely into the hook bend. When seated correctly the blade should freely spin in place, but it should not slide easily out of the hook. You can now gently lower the wiper arms back down to the windshield.
My SAAB takes 22 inch wiper blades. I like to change them once a year in the fall and I use blades designed for winter. Winter blades are just a personal preference. I like the way they work in snow and ice and when it’s not cold I just like the way they look. Companies are now making very streamlined blades with almost no structure apart from the rubber strip. They claim this style works like a winter blade but grips the glass better and reduces drag from the wind. I have not used this new style, but plan to give them a try and post my opinion sometime.
Headlight Wiper Blades
My 2000 9-5 has small wiper blades for the headlights. I have never seen these blades in the auto parts store, but they can be purchased online at a number of websites. They seem to be very hardy, my set has to be original and they are still holding up for the most part.
Photo of the headlight wiper arm and blade
They are really easy to remove and install. You lift the blade and arm away from the light and then try to turn the blade 180 degrees. At some point it snags, but if you continue to press the blade it will pop loose. The replacement blades snap back in by lining up the blade and pressing the center back into the arm. This is a five minute job for something that rarely needs to be done. If only everything was this simple.